A 6-month-old baby is tended to at a hospital run by MSF in Qayyarah, Iraq. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Many of the starving infants are from Mosul, where war between Daesh (ISIS) militants and Iraqi forces is taking a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped inside the city.A new, specialist ward was opened recently to deal with the growing number of children from Mosul showing signs of malnutrition as the conflict grinds on – most of them less than 6 months old.Part of the problem, Legall said, is a lack of tradition of breast-feeding among Iraqi mothers, who usually raise their babies on formula milk, which is now almost impossible to come by in Mosul.One of the mothers from Mosul told the doctors she had no option but to feed her baby sugar dissolved in water, yogurt or a mixture of flour and water.Some of the babies come from villages that were retaken from Daesh months ago, pointing to a wider trend of food insecurity.Many babies are brought to the hospital with respiratory problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia – most of them from camps for the displaced, where cramped conditions enable viruses to spread.
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